In the middle of winter, many offices face the challenge of keeping their employees comfortable while also getting the most out of their heating system. Understanding these challenges can help your business save money and stay warm at the same time.
A piece for the Quad-City Times recently looked at the ways that measures meant to save energy at local government buildings end up accidentally doing harm. The governor of Illinois has attempted to enforce better energy-saving policies and keep expenditures down at these sites.
However, according to that article, the way that the office of State Secretary Jesse White is set up makes it hard to address individual needs on different floors.
“In most cases, that means a predetermined temperature is set in each building,” it reads. “And, because some buildings are configured differently, you sometimes see upper floor windows wide open in the dead of winter because those offices are boiling hot.” They also add that workers on the lower floors are so cold that they have to use space heaters, creating an extra burden for the building’s energy consumption.
Even though it may take more time and effort to implement a site-specific heat measure, employees are served better by an approach to heating that takes the specific conditions of each building (and floor within the building) into account.
On a grander scale, companies should try to cut all unnecessary amounts of electricity. A 2012 report from the Natural Resources Defense Council found that some of the most effective energy savings “came from reducing loads that were extraneous, such as chillers and pumps running at night.” This information was derived by observing the effects of an energy-saving initiative in a trio of buildings in Washington D.C.
Environmental office solutions are easier to implement when there is a plan in place. Looking at obstacles to energy savings individually can help planners devise the steps to counteract them.